Hydraulic Press Tips

by bethwicker on January 30, 2014

Just a short post, with three tips when using a hydraulic press for metal forming.

1.  At the end of each day release the pressure, and drop the platen back to the lowest position, then close the valve.

2.  A piece of plexi is great as a “topper” when using pancake dies.  It is larger than the built in platens, and helps hold larger extending bits of metal in place.

Plexi "topper"

3.  I kept having trouble with the handle to my press falling off onto the floor, when it was laying on the press table not in use.  Either I would bang into it, or bang into the table, and CRASH BANG down it would go.  Finally got smart, and went to the store and got those hammer in felt pads meant to go on the bottom of furniture.  Perfect!

IMG_6459  See the two white felt pads… they sit up about 1/2″, just enough to hold the handle and keep it from falling off, and not enough to get in the way of anything else.  Plus being felt they are softish…

Enjoy and form lots of metal!

Oh – the press is by Kevin Potter of Potter USA, and I HIGHLY recommend it!



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January Metals Weekend Workshop

by bethwicker on December 26, 2012

Three Cats and a Dog

Design Studio – Beth Wicker



JANUARY 18, 19, 20 2013

10 – 5 Friday

9-5 Saturday

9-4 Sunday

$50/day includes shop fee but NOT supplies

Maximum of four people!



Friday we will learn a number of different ways to texture metal prior to forming it.  Instruction will include:

using a Rolling Mill with various surfaces to texture metal

using a hydraulic press with various surfaces to texture metal

using hammers, stamps and punches to texture metal

using various substances with hammers to texture metal

using the torch to texture metal

using tools in the flex shaft to create textures






On Saturday you will use metal you textured as a design element as you set several stones in various ways.  We will work on your choice of:

cold setting (mechanically setting stones with no torch work)

wire wrapping (also uses no torch)

bezel setting (using a torch)

prong setting (using a torch)




The last day will focus on various finishing techniques.  This will include:

Using the large polishing cabinet with various buffs

Using various tools in a flex shaft to create textures and finishes

Using pumice

Using steel wool and various sanding techniques

Some basic patinas

Use of a rotary tumbler


This workshop is suitable for beginners up, as I will take you from whatever level you are on and help you work on YOUR projects.  There will not be “set” projects.


You are welcome to bring your own supplies (metal and stones), or you may purchase supplies from me.  Feel free to bring lots of extra supplies you think you might want to incorporate into your pieces.


If you plan to bring your own tools, please be sure to have them clearly marked with your name!


This workshop will be for a maximum of four people per day.

  • Ø To register please send your non-refundable payment to reserve your space.
  • Ø Workshops are limited to FOUR people only, so you will get lots of help and the studio won’t be too crowded.
  • Ø Workshops will be held at my studio, at 192 McMillan Road, Cheraw, SC.  DO NOT count on GPS to get you to my house – it will find the road, but not the house!  Please call for directions!
  • Ø Phone is 843-910-0317.
  • Ø I accept PayPal to sandhillltd@earthlink.net or you can call me with a credit card number, or mail a check.  I will hold your space for one week until your payment comes in.


If you are coming in from out of town, you may visit here: http://www.cheraw.com/where_to_stay.php for a list of area lodging.




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